Jesus is asked a very difficult question.
Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) Matthew 12:9-10
It was an insult to a merciful Jesus. They considered healing ‘work’.
Unfortunately the only way Jesus could get through to them was to use an analogy that appealed to their selfishness, their possessions:
And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would.
Then Jesus balances human value Person > Sheep
And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus. – Mt 12:11-13
They had tried to trick Jesus, in turn he shined a light on the intentions of their heart. They would do ‘work’ on a Sunday to look after their possessions but not for the sake of helping others, being selfless.
Point 1: See the power of God: healing, casting out demons is not a personal glory, it is compassion. God heals because he loves. They were judging Jesus for healing out of glory motives, but healing or the desire to heal stems from compassion. The modern church needs to grow beyond the one-man healing model and take the on-the-street approach. Where it in the temple but on the street with people who would never attend church. Both models work, however, the second where we all grow in faith, will yield a much greater return.
In the story of the good samaritan the Samaritan did not look for a return on investment. He was on the way to do a job. He didn’t say: “the people I am going to need me”, or “God wants me to go this way”. But saw the man as God’s path.
He invested his:
- Time – to walk slowly taking the man to the nearest city
- Money – at the inn, paying for the care of the man
- Energy – this would require walking instead of being mounted
Too busy to help people? Jesus will show you the broken people on your path. Who appear to get in the way. That you will be commissioned to help, heal and restore. Even if the samaritan did not heal the man, due to the fact that Jesus was not speaking about a disciple in his realm or after with he power given by Jesus.
Later the Samaritan did ‘leave’ the man, but he did so in good care, so he could continue the work of his day. Helping a person is not creating a dependancy, it is giving a hand up to their feet.
Remember every time you help a person in need, you help Jesus.